Scenes from a hat

Welcome to my life, where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.

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Last Thursday, my honor society crew caught a 5:30 am flight (!) to Washington, D.C. for our annual trip. It was the largest group we’ve ever taken–73 eighth-graders, 12 parents, and five staff members. And as usual, every day was packed with activities from 8am to 10pm. But unfortunately, we had to defer our Asscrack of Dawn 5K to next year since J is still recovering from surgery. In fact, I didn’t get to see her at all.

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Anyway, after another whirlwind trip in which I think I ended up on students’ Snapchats at least twice, I got home about 1am Sunday night Monday morning. Fortunately I took Monday off from work because I slept until 1pm. And even then, I had no issue falling asleep eight or nine hours later.

The rest of the week was more of the same. Core class resumed Monday, and I paid for that during Tuesday night’s workout with my running group. My quads and hips were super sore, probably from some combination of our crazy travel itinerary and core class–and of course we ran a hilly route. It was also warm and humid. I ended up cutting it short–two one-mile laps instead of three–and only ended up with about 4.5 miles. Ugh.

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Wednesday I could only muster the energy to take the dog for a walk–I hoped the lighter activity would help my muscles feel better for Thursday night’s workout.

Generally with the Tuesday-Thursday thing, I do the speed workout Tuesday and then something less intense but perhaps a longer distance with the group on Thursday. But I was so underwhelmed with my performance on Tuesday that on Thursday (when it was about 20 degrees cooler) I made myself do the workout over again, but three laps this time, for 5.5 miles total. My legs were still tired and sore, but I powered through it in the cooler weather.

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Which brings me to this weekend.

My BRFs made me start at 5:30am. I’d struggled to get out of bed every day this week, and 5:30 did not appeal to me at all.

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But I showed up anyway. Because I have a half-marathon next Saturday and probably should get one last double-digit long run done before the race. I was tired, poorly recovered, and after about two miles, in pain. My quads were still sore, and now my left hip hurt a bit as well.

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I didn’t remember to pick up a map, but I was pretty sure I knew where I was going. Four of us started out together, and at the first water stop another friend caught up to us as well. I was definitely the caboose in this little train, and at one point I lost them in the dark. The coach had told us to add a little detour to the route, just a loop, and when I reached that intersection well behind the others, I couldn’t tell whether they’d taken the detour or gone straight ahead–their blinking red, green, and blue lights didn’t travel very far I guess.

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So I turned left for the detour. I mean, it’s a neighborhood I’ve run in for years, so I knew I couldn’t really get lost and I’d catch the others eventually when I came back to the main road. But then I saw blue shoe lights coming toward me, and I was confused.

Turns out they’d gone straight, then noticed I wasn’t behind them coming up the hill. So one pair backtracked and the other came around from the other direction, and those were the blue lights I saw. It was sweet of them to look for me–I knew where I was and how to get where I wanted to go, but it was dark and I appreciated that they didn’t want to lose me.

Back on course, we stopped for water, then headed down the hill for the last mile and a half before turning around. It was hilly–what’s with hilly quality workouts the same week as a hilly long run route??–and my legs were fried. I was grateful for having to wait at a stoplight or two. When I finished, I felt like I’d run 100 miles, not ten.

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I vowed to take it easy this coming week so I can have semi-fresh legs for the race on Saturday. That includes sleep–I know getting good sleep is key to running and recovery, but because of the trip and work, I fell way behind and just couldn’t catch up. I still haven’t, actually.

I keep reminding myself that I always have at least one crappy long run leading into a race–usually it’s two or three weeks out, but the last two weeks I didn’t do a long run. I ran a 5K PR, then didn’t run at all while I was in Washington. So hopefully I got it out of the way today.

I don’t have a time goal for Saturday’s race, but they (finally) published a course map the other day (no elevation map though) and I learned that the half-marathoners run the 10K loop twice (nevermind that 10K x 2 does not equal 13.1) so my only real goal is to run the second loop faster. My current jelly legs situation doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in my ability to pull that off, but if I can be semi-rested going into the race, I have a improved chance of success.

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Ryan Stiles:
Talking about traffic, it is boring all the time,
It’s hard to think about something that’ll rhyme.
Traffic, ah, who cares? It’s got no kind of class,
Ah, once again, I gotta mention Melissa’s ass.
All: Mention Melissa’s ass!

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